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The Airmen's Stories - P/O G H Hannan


George Henry Hannan was born on 20th December 1910 in Terregles, Kirkcudbrightshire, the son of Henry Beattie Hannan and of Jean Hannan (nee Macmillan).

He was a member of the Dumfries county clerk’s staff before joining the RAF.

An amateur footballer with Nithside Juveniles, he was also an assistant secretary for South-East Scotland in connection with the Government’s physical training and recreation scheme.


P/O GH Hannan (centre) as best man to his cousin, also George Henry Hannan, in 1936.

Image courtesy of Mary Barnes, daughter of George Henry Hannan.


GH was known as Harry to his family and friends.

He joined the RAF in May 1940. He had applied for pilot training but found he was colour blind, as a result he was admitted as a direct-entry Air Gunner. After completing his training he joined 236 Squadron on 17th June 1940.

He was killed on 21st December 1940 when Blenheim IV R3878 was lost on a reconnaisance sortie to Brest. S/Ldr. GW Montagu and Sgt. DR Briggs were also lost.

The 236 Operational Record Book recorded:

P/O Hannan had been with the squadron since May 1940 and was a first class Air Gunner and liked tremendously by his fellow Officers and his men.

These three will be keenly missed by the squadron.


The Blenheim came down by the mill at Pont-Ours (Bear Bridge) in the commune of Plouguin in Brittany, the mill was owned by Jean Tromelin (1896-1982).

The Germans took no action over the crash and it was left to M. Tomelin to recover the bodies and bury them at the site. Later a religious service was held, attended by Luftwaffe personnel and about 1500 locals.

The graves were covered in flowers in season until 1948 when they were relocated to Bayeux cemetery.

Jean Tomelin Snr. was heavily involved with the Resistance, for which he was decorated postwar, and sheltered several Allied airmen, including Battle of Britain veteran P/O Peter William Lefevre. LeFevre was passed along the escape lines in July 1943 to Gibraltar and may have been accompanied by Jean Tomelin Jnr. who arrived in England about this time and enlisted in the Free French Air Force.

He brought with him some photographs of the graves which were passed on to the next-of-kin (below).

Hannan's parents renamed their house 'Pont Ours'.










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